The Royal Moroccan Navy has awarded a contract to Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to build a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

The company will use the design of the Avante-class ship for the 80m-long Moroccan OPV.

According to Navantia, Avante 1400 OPV is a ‘littoral patrol vessel’ with a 1,500t full load displacement and 4,000nm range.

The OPV can accommodate a crew complement of 35 sailors.

The design and construction of the high-altitude patrol vessel will mean one million of man hours for the Bay of Cádiz shipyards and about 250 jobs over the next 42 months.

During a recent visit to the company’s San Fernando shipyard, Spanish finance minister María Jesús confirmed the selection of Navantia for the newbuilding project.

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In April last year, the Moroccan Navy announced the specifications of the contract for the construction of the OPV.

Several shipyards across the globe showed their interest including Navantia, which offered its bid in August.

Construction of the OPV will begin after the completion of engineering works.

This is not the first time that Navantia has won a shipbuilding contract from the Royal Moroccan Navy. The company delivered patrol boats and a corvette to the service in the 1980s.

Recently, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) accepted the first Supply-class auxiliary oilier replenishment (AOR) vessel, ‘NUSHIP Supply’. It was built by Navantia.